Friday, September 26, 2008

High Places

High Places - Golden
MP3: High Places - From Stardust to Sentience

The new eponymous record from High Places is very much worthy of it's self-titling in that it is a fine representation of the group and all of it's strengths. What was merely hinted at on the group's singles collection "03/07 - 09/07" is realized to it's fullest potential; it is two people's musical outlet at it's greatest hour.

You've certainly heard of High Places, probably starting late last year and well into 2008, as they've fit in like a glove at your favourite band's gigs and consumed all of your favourite internet news and mp3 publications. It felt like there was a bit of a label race to snag up this talent (in the shadows of course) and when it was announced that Thrill Jockey had reigned victorious, everybody seemed deserving of their winnings.

All of this, of course, makes for an interesting introduction, but it requires ignoring once you get down to the dirt and actually listen to the band and it's debut long player. They're not exactly reinventing the 'High Places' wheel, as they are that rare band that has found it's sound and embraced it completely, but they have perfected it, erasing any near-impossible flaws that could've been found in the past. It is the perfect pop record in the sense that it only goes 19 seconds over 30 minutes, and the beat never stops. It is ethereal and it is bouncy, it is sweet and it is challenging, all of the things that make it so rewarding to be a fan of this music. While it's less buried treasure than it was when it started, it still sounds personal enough for everyone to hold dear: when you're listening to songs like "Vision's the First..." or "Golden", it is yours. You get the empty room percussion, you get the rarely pitch-shifting vocals and the synths serve to sew it together into a well fitting shirt. It's all yours. High Places have done their part, and now it is our turn to sit back and enjoy it. Be it at a party or a candle lit dinner, this record is the soundtrack to every possible activity in life, and I personally am thankful to have that in any band, it is aces that it comes from these folks. An audible job well done.

"High Places" is out now from Thrill Jockey.

{purchase high places releases from insound}

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